Contract of Symon Root and Reinier Somensen to build two houses for Paulus Leendersen van der Grift

Scanned Document:

Two houses, each 32 feet long, 18 ditto wide, 9 feet high under the beams and 3 feet from the beams to the wall plate, with header and trimmers for a double chimney and the shaft[1]
5 outside and inside doors
3 Gothic window frames
1 window frame with transom and mullion
2 three-light window frames
Three partitions as happens to be most convenient
The roof frame covered with boards
Doors and window sashes as required

The contractor shall hew and trim the pine timber in the woods, about 200 feet from the place where the houses are to stand.

The owner shall deliver the timber at his own expense on the ground where the houses are to be erected and fell the trees.
2 closets with shelves inside the square room
2 bedsteads

The owner shall pay the contractor sixty winter beavers for the above mentioned work when It is completed. He shall also convey the contractor and his partner and servant to the place of building and furnish the contractor and his partner and servant during the work with food and drink, free of charge. When the work is finished, the contractor and his partner and servant shall depart for the Manhatans at their own expense. Being satisfied herewith the parties have signed this. Manhatans, the 30th of May 1649.[2]

Symen Root
Rinier Somensen
Pouwelis Leendersz van die Grift ]
H. van Dyck


The words "chimney" and "shaft" are crossed out in the original.

The calendar entry says that the houses were apparently built

on the South River.


Translation: Scott, K., & Stryker-Rodda, K. (Ed.). New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vol. 3, Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1648-1660 (A. Van Laer, Trans.). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1974.A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.